in 2010 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $18,789 - $28,160
Original MSRP: $32,145 - $44,890
MPG: 18 City / 26 Hwy
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Used Car: 2010 Lexus IS Review

Review Last Updated: 7/19/12

The 2010 Lexus IS is a competent and refined 2010 midsize car with a somewhat sporty demeanor, however, its small interior may not be ideal for families.

The 2010 Lexus IS is ranked:

When it was new, critics said that the base 2010 Lexus IS 250 had refined handling that blended sport and comfort, and those who drove the more powerful IS 350 said it was fairly fast. Some did note that its cabin was a little short on space, but were otherwise impressed with the fit and finish. The IS 250 and IS 350 are available as sedans or retractable hardtop convertibles. The Lexus IS gets a decent reliability score, though top-ranked cars in the class have higher scores.

The 2010 Lexus IS is available with a 204-horsepower, 2.5-liter V6 in the IS 250 and a 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 in the IS 350. Most critics found the IS 250 sedan had merely adequate acceleration, but it is the only model available with all-wheel drive. The IS 350, which is rear-wheel drive only, earned praise for its power, but some remarked that its suspension holds any true sporting intentions at bay. The rear-wheel drive IS 250 is available with a manual transmission, while all other variations are automatic only. An IS 250 with an automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive nets 21/29 mpg city/highway, which is fairly good for the class. Selecting AWD or 350 variants reduces fuel economy slightly. The IS sedan can carry up to 13 cubic feet of cargo in its trunk, which is on the low side when compared with other used midsize cars. If considering the convertible, keep in mind that the hardtop stows in the trunk, which cuts into available storage space.

Inside, critics said the cockpit had good build quality, and most found the front seats very comfortable. Many noted, however, that the rear seats were short on space, and some taller drivers wanted more headroom. Standard equipment includes leather seats with front power adjustment, dual-zone climate control, push-button start, a power sunroof, Bluetooth and a 13-speaker stereo with a USB port. Features like a Mark Levinson stereo, navigation and Lexus’ Enform infotainment system, as well as a full range of safety features, were available as options when the Lexus IS was new.

See the full 2010 Lexus IS specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2010 BMW 3-Series was regarded by many critics as the benchmark of sport sedans when it was new, thanks to its smooth engines and athletic suspension. While a low reliability score may deter some used car shoppers, the 3-Series’ engaging performance makes it one of the more fun to drive cars in the segment.

If you’re looking for a bit more interior space, check out the 2010 Cadillac CTS. The CTS is a bit bigger than the IS, so it may be more practical for families. It also earned reviewer praise for its sporty yet comfortable ride, as well as its top-rate interior quality. With excellent safety and reliability scores, the 2010 CTS is a top contender in the class.

Compare the IS to the 3-Series and CTS »